The Singer of Tales (Harvard Studies in Comparative by Albert B. Lord

By Albert B. Lord

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The other Argonauts who take part in the battle are daughters of Keleos find Demeter sitting beside a well when they come 'to fetch fair flowing water in order to carry it in bronze pitchers to the dear home of their father' (106-7). (xii) The girls do not recognise Demeter, whereas Polyphemus knows Heracles at once ( m ~ 1254). (xii) Demeter pretends to have been carried off, a fate which Polyphemus fears Hylas has suffered. That both Theocritus and Apollonius use the Hymn is of course significant for their mutual relationship.

75 Here the Argonauts arrive thirsty and exhausted after having carried the Argo on their shoulders for twelve days and nights, and are saved by the fact that just previously Heracles had been there to gather the golden apples of the Hesperides. The Argonauts come upon the already rotting body of the serpent, Ladon, which guarded the apples and which Heracles had killed, and they drink from a spring which had been caused to well up from the earth by a savage kick from the great hero. The Argonauts' difference from and dependence upon Heracles is underlined by the contrast between the latter's brutal method of winning the apples (lifjAa) and the magic powers upon which Jason relied to gain the fleece of a sheep (|if)Aov) by overcoming the Colchian dragon; both dragons were the children of Earth.

6cv8pi eoiKos | ei8coAov, 'a phantom resembling a man labouring hard' {Phaen. 91 Apollonius' Heracles is not, as so much recent criticism would have it, Jason's polar opposite, a straight-talking, unsubtle hero who throws Jason's shortcomings into relief. 1052-7), and thus the use of guile is sanctioned by the memory of Heracles just as that part of the epic where 'guile' is most important begins. The contrast between the two heroes is, of course, 89 N o t e 1403 OCKVT)CTTIV ~ 90 Cf. A r a t u s , Phaen.

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